Signature Songs – “…As a singer, Vilma’s thin voice didn’t stop her to become a successful singer. Her hard work paid off and earned her a piece of history. The reluctant singer recorded strings of solo albums that created her signature songs, “Sixteen” and “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby.” Signature songs that enlisted her together with famous singers like Imelda Papin (Bakit), Eva Eugenio (Tukso), Claire DeLaFuente (Sayang), Sharon Cuneta (Mr. DJ), Didith Reyes (Nananabik), Aiza Siguerra (Pagdating Ng Panahon), Freddie Aguilar (Anak), Florante (Handog), and Gary Valenciano (Di Na Natuto). Her sweet and child like voice reflected the innocence of her original up-tempo songs that tackles teenage issues like dating, sexual education, body images, and adulthood. Teenage issues that are still remarkably relevant today…” – RV (READ MORE)
Listening to Sixteen – “…Vilma’s first album was pure fun and still very relevant today. Consist of twelve songs six on each side. The vinyl record on side A starts with its carrying single, Sixteen. Composed by Dannie Subido, Sixteen talks about “making out” in the park. This might alarm some of the religious zealots in the 70s but Ate Vi’s wholesome sweet voice makes the song wholesome and child like. The hidden sex – “making out” – kissing and hugging in public place – message of the song would probably the reason why ”Sixteen” became the favorites of teenagers. The song catapulted Vilma’s signature song. A feat that even her closest rival, Nora Aunor can’t replicated (Nora Aunor despite successful singing career lacked a signature song). Remember this is the hippie era and the start of the feminist movement. A clear reason why ”Sixteen” was a major hit with the free love care free young generation of this era. The next songs, Dry your Eyes and Bring Back Your Love both arranged by Dannie Subido are love songs that boils down to frustration of a girl in love. Followed by a turned around in terms of mood with Vi’s version of a Bacharach composition, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, a funny but out of place song. One of the two final songs on side A, came as a surprise. “When The Clock Strikes One” was an original composition of Robert Medina and like “Sixteen” was about “making out” – kissing and hugging but this time its more fun because of its unusual up-tempo mood that’s actually more like a hip-hop song.
Side B of Sixteen was pure fun too. Three songs that stands out were the original compositions of Dannie Subido, “Sometimes,” “It is Wonderful to be In Love” and “Then Along Came You Edgar.” The lyrics of these songs are simple and obviously catered to the massive followers of the Edgar – Vilma love team. Before Britney Spears came up with her hit song, “Sometimes,” Vilma has her own song titled “Sometimes.” Both Britney and Vilma’s songs are about teenage love confusion. It’s a Wonderful To Be in Love is self-explanatory, yes Ate Vi is in love and she expressed it nicely in this song. The up-tempo and simple lyrics of this song makes it more like a children rhyme song except that it’s about almost “adult-kind” of love. The puppy love theme of the album continued with an uplifting song, well at least for the Vi and Bot fans with “Then Along Came You, Edgar.” This song confirmed Vi’s puppy love to the dark and handsome but not so tall cutie-pie, Edgar Mortiz. Once again, Dannie Subido’s arrangement and lyrics are simple but playful, a perfect fit to Ate Vi’s sweet range….” – RV (READ MORE)
Awards in Recording: – 1970 Sixteen given by Willears Records; 1974 Palong-Palo given by Vicor Records – Wikipedia (READ MORE)
Golden Recording – “…Hindi man masasabing singer subali’t sa pamamagitan ng kanyang manager na si William Leary na nagtayo ng sariling Wilears Records ay nagkaroon ng mga plaka si Vi. Mga mahigit na limampung awitin, na karamihan ay sinulat ni Danny Subido, ang isinaplaka ni Vi kasama na ‘yung mga duet nila ni Edgar Mortiz. Nagkaroon din si Vi ng mga Gold Record katulad ng signature song niya na Sixteen na isinapelikula ng Sampaguita Pictures noong 1970 at Palung-Palo Ako. Bilang singer, ilang long playing albums, mini lps at singles din ang nagawang recording ni Nora sa Alpha Records ni Buddy de Vera. May mga LP siya na ang laman ay puro Tagalog songs, Pilipino dialects, Hawaiian songs, duet nila ni Manny de Leon at iba’t ibang mga adaptations na awitin….” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)
Wilear’s Top Company in Philippine Awards – The third annual presentation of the Awit Awards was held at the Manila Hotel with Senator Doy Laurel of the Philippine Congress as guest of honor and principal speaker. The sponsoring group was the Philippine Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (PARAS). The event criticized in the local circle because of its unpopular results and deglamourized presentation, gave posthumous awards of merit to Frankie Martin, a juror last year, and Santiago Suarez, one of Filipino musical stalwarts. The founder of the Awit Awards, Billboard correspondent Oskar Salazar, was also honored. Wilear’s Records scored heavily in the awards this year. The foreign division was permanently scrapped. Two major companies, Villar Records and Dyna Products, Inc. did not submit nominations this year. The 1970 winners are: Female Singer (English) – Nora Aunor (Alpha); Male Singer (English) – Eddie Mesa (Grandeur); Female Singer (Vernacular) – Amapola (Lapulapu); Male Singer (Vernacular) – Armando Ramos (Wilear’s). Most Promising Female Singer – Eva Vivar (Alpha); Most Promising Male Singer (tie) – Boy Mondragon (Vicor) and Jonathan Potenciano (D’Swan); Record Company of the Year – Wilear’s Records; Song of the Year – “Forever Loving You” by Bert Dominic (Billboard); Best Single – “Sixteen” by Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Vocal Group (Vernacular) – D’Big 3 Sullivans (Vicor); Vocal Group (English) – Reycard Duet (Alpha); Instrumental Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” by the Philippine Rondalla (Wilear’s); Original Movie Music Theme – Soundtrack of “Wanted: Perfect Mother” by Danny Subido (Neon); Special Recording – “Philippine Rondalla” (Wilear’s); Instrumental – Eric Dimson (Vicor); Instrumental Group – Pandacan Original Brass Band (Wilear’s); Musical Arranger – Doming Amarillo; Lyricist (Vernacular) – Philip Maninang; Lyricist (English) – Danny Subido; Composer (English) – Robert Dominic; Album Liner Notes (LP & Mini) – “Baby Vi” (Wilear’s); Album Cover (LP) – “I’m Sorry My Love” (Vicor); Mini-Album – “Something Stupid” by (Wilear’s); Album – “Phenomenal Nora Aunor” by Nora Aunor (Alpha). Other Awardees (receiving plaques): Best Recording Studio – Cinema-Audio, Inc.; Best Recording Engineers – Ric Santos (Cinema-Audio, Inc.) and Best Pressing Plant – Home Industries Dev. Corp. Given citations for their support were Tower Productions, stations DZTM and DZTR and Gloria Sevilla, a film producer. – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)
Local Artists Score in Manila Listing – The July tabulations of the Philippine Record Dealers’ Association, listing the top artsts of the month in the point of sales, only lists two foreign artists, Elvis Presley and Petula Clark. Alpha artist, Nora Aunor, clinches the top spot. She holds the record of the only local artist who won the Awit Awards as best female singer in three consecutive years. Aunor is the highest-paid recording artst, film star, and also radio-tv-stage personality. The top ten artsts: Aunor (Alpha), Tirso Cruz III (Dyna), Presley, Sylvia La Torre (Villar), Victor Wood (Vicor), Clark, Ric Manrique (Villar), Eva Vivar (Alpha) and Mabuhay Singers (Villar). The association also released listings by categories, the top three in each Local Female (English) – Aunor, Vivar and Vilma Santos (Wilear’s); Local male singer (English) – Cruz, Wood and Darius Razon (Alpha); Groups = Mabuhay Singers, D’Big Sullivan (Alpha-Vicor) and Ambivalent Crowd (Vicor); Instrumental: Relly Coloma (Villar), Amormio Cillan, Jr (Dyna) and Eric Dimson (Vicor). – Billboard Magazine, International News Reports, 14 August 1971 (READ MORE)